AGEING in the 21st century is both a celebration and a challenge, says Social Welfare Minister Dr Jiko Luveni.
Speaking during the commemoration of Senior Citizens Day on Tuesday. Dr Luveni said the UN had found the proportion of older persons in society to be rising on a global scale, which was a tribute to the advances in health and overall quality of life.
"But, it also presents major challenges, such as ensuring the sustainability of pension funds and the ability of overburdened health care systems to serve much higher numbers of people," the minister said. She added that the number of people over the age of 60 rose by 3000 per year.
"The 'oldest old' population of 80 years and above is also expected to increase."
Dr Luveni said the number in this age group was expected to rise from 5000 in 2010 to 28,500 by 2050.
She said Fiji had a National Policy on Ageing in place from 2011-2015, the vision of which was "promoting an inclusive, protective, healthy and enabling environment for older persons".
The minister also launched a Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) /Help Age Fiji publication, A compendium of actions for seniors wellbeing in Fiji.